As we begin this season of advent, I’m pondering God’s timing.
Have you ever thought about what it was like to be Mary and Joseph? Mary is nearing the end of her pregnancy and then this decree is issued stating that they have to travel to Bethlehem.
At 7 or 8 months pregnant (my guess, scripture doesn’t tell us), she had to be uncomfortable. Traveling a long distance on the back of a donkey was probably super low on her list of things she wanted to do, yet they had no choice.
Then, when they arrive in Bethlehem, there’s no place for them to stay except a dirty stable. To complicate things further, she goes into labor while in that dirty stable! Can you imagine?
She and Joseph might’ve wondered why God didn’t prevent the census from happening – or at the very least, make it happen another time. They might’ve asked why God didn’t save a room for them – just one room! – which would’ve been a simple thing for God to do.
And yet… we see God’s perfect plan unfolding. He controlled the timing of the decree, just as He controlled the timing of Jesus’ birth.
Maybe you’re looking at some circumstance or event in your life and wondering why God is allowing – or not allowing – it now. Maybe it’s one crisis on top of another on top of another. Or maybe you’ve prayed for something and God has put you into a pattern of waiting. Maybe He’s even told you no.
Will you trust that He has a plan and that His plan is perfect? Will you choose to thank Him in the midst of this thing that feels like poor timing? And will you watch in eager anticipation of what He will do through this situation? God has a plan in all things and works for our good (Psalm 31:19, Romans 8:28), even when we don’t see how He can.